greece pensioners
A pensioner sits outside a National Bank branch as he waits to receive part of his pension in AthensChristian Hartmann/Reuters

France is working feverishly with Greece to create a comprehensive set of proposals to reform the country's economy and leverage debt relief before midnight on Thursday (9 July).

After speaking with Greek prime minsiter Alexis Tsipras on Thursday morning President of the European Council Donald Tusk said that he hopes "to receive concrete, realistic reform proposals today".

A "realistic proposal from Athens needs to be matched by a realistic proposal from creditors on debt sustainability to create a win-win situation," Tusk said.

The proposals must convince Greek creditors at the European Central Bank (ECB) that the country's reforms will set it on better economic footing. These will be examined by eurozone finance ministers on Saturday and then submitted for debate at an emergency EU summit on Sunday.

"Our proposals for financing our obligations and restructuring our debt will not burden European taxpayers," promised Tsipras, the "next hours will be crucial".

Restructuring Greek debt at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ECB will be a key aspect of the economic plan. But this has proved a major sticking point between Greece and its creditors. Restructuring could involve slashing the total €323bn (£231bn, $357bn) the country owes and establishing a longer timeline to payback the remainder.

On 30 June the country defaulted on a €1.55bn payment to the IMF. And a deal must be reached before the country defaults on a €3.5 billion payment it owes the ECB on 20 July.

In a referendum on Sunday 5 July Greeks voted to reject a deal that did not include restructuring of the country's debt.

"Having France help out Greece in putting its proposals together is a positive sign," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, a large Australian global investment manager.

Tsipras and his new finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos will have to not only draw up proposals that will be acceptable to the other 18 Eurozone finance ministers, but ones that members of their Syriza party can also agree to.

Head of the Greek bank association Louka Katseli said on Thursday that there is enough cash in ATMs to last until Monday. The Greek stock exchange is also set to reopen after the weekend.